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Police in public relations drill

Guwahati, July 18: The Assam police are on a public relations mission by bringing down the number of pending cases.

The project, Mission Mode of Assam Police, aims to bring down pending verification cases to zero, dispose of crime cases fast and improve facilities for policemen to enable them to effectively address public grievances.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi interacted with police officials on the project during his visit to the Assam police headquarters here this morning. He said police verification was required in case of applications for passport, permanent resident certificate and other public issues.

“Pendency of police verification is high and thus the public often complains against cops. Assam police have successfully executed the project in Jorhat district (since last month). Similar exercises will be carried out in the state’s other 26 districts to minimise hassles and the waiting period for applicants within August 15,” Gogoi told reporters.

He said the pending projects would be brought down to zero within a month and further applications would also be verified in that period.

The chief minister said the government had decided to raise the recruitment of women in the police force to 30 per cent. “Raising the number of women in the state police will help to tackle the rising crimes against women. Women police personnel are doing very well,” he said, adding that all police stations would have women cells by 2016.

He also said the state government would appoint a police commissioner for Guwahati city within two months but refused to divulge further. Director-general of police Khagen Sarma said under the mission, the police have set December 31 as the deadline to dispose of the maximum number of crime cases, currently at different stages of investigation.

Till June 30, altogether 67,324 cases of crime were pending in the state’s police stations.

The mission stipulates that the DGP will take the responsibility of bringing down the pendency of crime cases in the state to a reasonable level within a year.

“Assam police have a vacancy of 4,000 posts, including sub-inspectors and inspectors. We are not in a position to stretch the human resources available to us further for disposal of cases. A substantial number of technical experts are required as additional hands to reduce the huge pendency of cases,” Sarma said.

Assam police plan to induct 400 technical advisers on contract basis to aid, assist and advise district-level officials to dispose pending cases and assist the police in investigation.

“We have submitted proposals to the state government to improve facilities and infrastructure for police personnel, especially those dealing with the public at the grassroots,” he added.

A district-level police official present at the meeting said public grievances were mainly against the police’s failure to solve crime within a reasonable deadline and hoped the mission would succeed in redressing people’s grievances.

“Though there are many sincere police officials, they face public wrath because of their inability to crack crime cases in time. We hope the mission will bring a solution,” he said.